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Caitlyn Rose Wenner

Master of Science, Communication Disorders

Hello, fellow Comets, family, friends, and loved ones. Graduates, I know many of you don’t know me but trust me, we have more in common than you’d think. Sure, we all come from different walks of life and different fields within the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, but everyone on this floor has worked hard to make it to today. Some of us moved away from home, some took out loans, others did it all as parents, many of us did it with part- or full-time jobs, and we all did it with late-night cram sessions. Every one of us had support on this journey — people cheering for us, whether it was a parent, child, friend, mentor or advisor. To all of those supporters here today, thank you for encouraging the next generation of healers, thinkers and changers. And to those who cannot be in this room today — whether they are streaming this ceremony from another city or another country, or if they’ve left this world — thank you for your belief in us. I hope that we will continue to make you proud.

So, we’ve all been here at UTD for a while, whether that’s been one year or two, three, four, five, personally I’ve been here for six. I came here for undergrad, made UTD my home, and loved it so much I figured I’d stick around for my master’s. After being pretty involved on campus, I thought I knew all there was to know about this university. Three official colors? Eco Green, Flame Orange, Brilliance White. Our mascot Temoc’s birthday? April 20, 1998. But this year, I found out something new. It’s our university motto, and it has become one of my favorite things about UTD.

It is Disciplina Praesidium Civitatis. I'm going to assume there aren't any Latin majors in the room and go ahead and tell you that our translation takes the motto to mean, "Education, the Guardian of Society."

That’s pretty heavy. That motto carries a lot of weight, but I would venture to say that we’ve all actively chosen to take on that burden. The burden of not only furthering our own learning but fostering that of others. All of the graduates here today are headed into careers centered around the brain — whether it’s understanding the brain, learning to work with it, helping to nurture it or striving to heal it. Whether you studied speech pathology, cognitive science or somewhere in between, we are all going to take very active roles in the education of many generations to come.

“Whether you studied speech pathology, cognitive science or somewhere in between, we are all going to take very active roles in the education of many generations to come.”

How can we ensure that the knowledge we seek, discover, create and impart serves and guards our society against untruths, injustice and inequality? By doing things the way we’ve done them here at The University of Texas at Dallas — with integrity, curiosity, determination and excitement.

Our motto has charged us with bettering the communities we are headed into, and, Class of 2018, I believe we have proven ourselves up to the challenge.

Now, I have a favor to ask, would you all join me in our last Whoosh as UTD students? Comets, stand up! Hold your left hand over your heart, your right hand up in the air. And when I say UTD, you say Whoosh! U-T-D Whoosh! Thank you so much.

Caitlyn Rose Wenner BS'16 graduated with a master’s degree in communication disorders. She plans to become a pediatric speech language pathologist, serving children in an outpatient clinic.